Roasted Lemon Chicken

Roasted chicken with lemon slice

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  • Total: 75 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
437 Calories
26g Fat
14g Carbs
36g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 4
Amount per serving
Calories 437
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 128mg 43%
Sodium 1158mg 50%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Protein 36g
Calcium 92mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Lemon and chicken are natural partners. I don't think there's a better roasted chicken recipe than this one. The juices that form as the chicken roasts are perfect over hot mashed potatoes or hot cooked rice. The chicken is tender and juicy and full of flavor. The lemon tenderizes the chicken as it adds flavor.

The type of chicken that you want for roasting will weigh, at most, about three pounds. If the chickens you see in the market are any larger, don't use them. Larger chickens should be used in stews and for making chicken stock.

Serve this chicken with some mashed potatoes, roasted or steamed green beans or asparagus, and a fruit salad. This classic and comforting meal is delicious for any fall or winter evening.

If you're serving more than four people, roast two chickens! This fabulous and simple recipe is perfect for entertaining. It's ideal for Hanukkah or Christmas, and great for any winter meal. 


  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken
  • 2 lemons, washed
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened OR olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Remove the giblets and any fat from the chicken cavity; discard or freeze for later use. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; don't rinse it, or you'll spread bacteria around the kitchen.

  3. Roll the lemons on the counter with your hand to soften, then prick with a fork, going all the way through the rind to the flesh. Cut one of the lemons in half.

  4. In a small bowl, mash the garlic with the salt until a paste forms. Rub half this paste inside the chicken and then stuff one and one half of the lemons into the cavity.

  5. Add the butter to the rest of the garlic paste and rub the mixture on the outside of the chicken.

  6. Place the chicken in a shallow roasting pan, on a rack (you can use sliced onions for a rack for even more flavor) and pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the pan. Squeeze the juice from the last lemon half into the broth.

  7. Roast the chicken for 60-65 minutes, basting with the pan juices halfway through the cooking time, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F, juices run clear when pricked with a fork, and the drumstick moves easily in its socket.

  8. Cover the chicken and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the pan juices.